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Thread: Rifle vs. Muskets

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    Member Member Oleander Ardens's Avatar
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    Default Rifle vs. Muskets

    The porpuse of this thread is to collect informations about the differing properties of this main tools of war in the set timeframe of E:TW. Personally I think the balance betwen is crucial to gameplay, and therefore one to get right.

    I will start with this one:

    The musket in the Napoleonic War

    Very interesting too.:

    The Girandoni: a repeating Air rifle of the 18th century
    Last edited by Oleander Ardens; 10-25-2008 at 16:29.
    "Silent enim leges inter arma - For among arms, the laws fall mute"
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    Member Member Polemists's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    And here is some basic rifle knowledge ( I know wikipedia is not the be all end all of historic world but the overview is useful to show the difference between volley fire and sharpshooter weaponry early on.)

    Rifle

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    The Dam Dog Senior Member Sheogorath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    From what I know, the main advantage of the musket over the rifle was speed. A rifle required a lot more strength and took more time to load, since you had to ram the ball down with those groves biting into it. Muskets you could just drop the ball down the barrel.
    I also believe a lot of rifles weren't fitted with bayonets, with riflemen typically getting some sort of hand weapon (sword, knife, axe) instead. Less effective against cavalry.
    Rifles also required more training, since aim was far more important. It is true that (close up) you did have to aim your musket somewhat, but since rifles tended to be quite a bit more accurate, you couldn't just point your gun in the enemies general direction and hope for a hit.
    Tallyho lads, rape the houses and burn the women! Leave not a single potted plant alive! Full speed ahead and damn the cheesemongers!

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    Member Member pdoyle007's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Yes the muskets were alot faster due to their barrels being smooth and thus able to be loaded quicker. The rifles had spiralling grooves running down them that made the ball spin and thus travel further and more accurately, but needed brute strength to load and were difficult to load from a prone position.

    They could also be wrapped in a small leather patch which made them grip the grooves better. Riflemen carried 'cartridges' of powder, the same as the rest of the army, but also a horn containing superior quality powder. If they had the opportunity to use this (i.e. at the start of a battle) the shot would be wickedly accurate, however the loading process could last up to 90 seconds/2 minutes and the muskets could have fired up to 6 times in this period.

    When standing toe to toe the muskets were by far the more useful, although from anywhere beyond 80 yards you would be lucky the hit the man you were aiming at, the idea was to have to many bullets flying some of them hit someone and you wore down the opposition.

    A rifles main advantage was to pick off officers, NCOs, etc from a distance so when the two lines came together they were weakened and leaderless.

    Basically the answer is they both have their uses depending on the situation. Regarding the bayonets, the British could attach a bayonet to the front of their rifle, but it also had a handle which allowed it to be used separately. The French didn't seem to like rifles as they were so slow to load.

    I think the rifle companies only came into being a while after the traditional 'redcoat' battalions and I'm not 100% sure on the dates so don't know how they'll fit into the ETW timeline. They may need to be researched.

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    Member Member Polemists's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    I assume muskets arn't that rare in this time frame but what about rifles?

    I mean if your fighting a band of rebels, bandits, revoultionaries, obviously they may have muskets but would they also be able to make/afford rifles?

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    Hope guides me Senior Member Hosakawa Tito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Rifles required much more frequent cleaning due to spent powder build-up in the bore that plugged the rifling grooves. No amount of brute strength can force a patched ball down a fouled barrel *I'm speaking from experience*. Smooth-bore muskets experienced the same problems but to a lesser degree. Manufacturing grooved rifle barrels was much more expensive than their smooth-bore counterparts. Uniformity of ammunition caliber size made the logistics of rifle ammunition resupply prohibitively expensive for large units of riflemen. Most early manufacturers of rifles were small specialty gunsmiths who also provided bullet molds unique for their individual rifles. The rifleman then had to cast his own ammo.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." *Jim Elliot*

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    Member Member fenir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    A british musketeer, could fire 4 times a min. As opposed to the French twice a minute.

    A british Rifleman, (same as the Musketeers, the only live trained troops in their period.) Could fire 2 to 3 a minute a min. Aimed. If i remember correctly.

    The Baker Rifle, was the first successful, specifically military rifle.

    To give you an example: there is an eye witnessed, (by many), account of a british rifleman, whose name escapes me. Who killed a french general, at ~800 Yards, with a baker rifle. ANd to prove it wasn't a fluke, eg: luck; he did it again, and killed the generals aide de camp.

    Keep in mind, with all british equipment, even today, the british claim lower standards, than what their equipment can actually do.

    IN the time period, the british where the main proponents of rifles, and apart from the Prussians, where the only ones effectively using them. Up until the ~1820. It helped alot that the Baker rifle was and still today, considered the best rifle in that period.

    The british, really where the first to use troops with rifles, in a sniper fashion. And these units are considered the fore runners as such. They primarly, take out NCO's and CO's. Thereby leaving teh enemy leaderless.

    A few other notes, that i remember.
    At the famous American and mexician battle of the Alamo. The mexicans where using Brow Besses, and Baker rifles.
    I think it's the alamo. hmmm might have to check later.


    The First british Rifles to used in action, where fergussons, from Major Fergusson. British Army.
    Made in about 1770, Patent in 1776, US Independance war.
    Used in the War. Witht eh light Infantry. Breech Load, and could fire appreantly, about 6 or 7 rounds per minute.

    Poste Scriptio:

    ALL BAKER RIFLES HAD BAYONETS. .......THE BRITISH STARTED ALL RED COAT TRADITION, IN TEH EARLY 1700's..,............nearly all nations, gave swords to their troops, up until the advent of breach loading rifles. ~ 1850's. So took the away earlier, some had them longer.

    MUSKETS, are not aimed generally. They are volley fire, in groups for maxium effort. A rifle is a specific target killer.

    Sincerely

    fenir
    Last edited by fenir; 10-22-2008 at 17:39.
    Time is but a basis for measuring Susscess. Fenir Nov 2002.

    Mr R.T.Smith > So you going to Charge in the Brisbane Office with your knights?.....then what?
    fenir > hmmmm .....Kill them, kill them all.......let sega sort them out.

    Well thats it, 6 years at university, 2 degrees and 1 post grad diploma later OMG! I am so Anal!
    I should have been a proctologist! Not an Accountant......hmmmmm maybe some cross over there?

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    Member Member pdoyle007's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    The rifleman was called Plunket(t) and you can find him on wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Plunket

    The exact distance is debated but it was sufficiently far that his colleagues were impressed and he basically stopped a French attack with two shots.

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    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Sigh. It was more likely 80 yards than 800.

    There is not one source that give an indication that it was a long range shot. They were impressed because he killed a general and quite possible the courage he showed by advancing 100 yards as he saw a chance and took it.

    Some sources state the shot went through Colberts head. For a shot to have such power means it had to be much closer than 800 yards.

    It seems Oman was the first culprit by stating 'from a range that seemed extraordinary to the riflemen of that day' and here 100 years later a range of 800 yards (coming from a Sharpe's novel) now keeps popping up


    CBR

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    Member Member fenir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    CBR,

    I left my part open for such a comment, the RGJ museum in winchester, has the story, and it was wintessed by many.
    Kinda like a court. The witnesses attest to the truth.
    But to say 80 yards? is a dream, and an insult, the baker rifle was offically, ranged for kill at 200 or 250 yards.

    There are also, many stories about 600 yard shots. So keep in mind, that when it has been witnessed, by others, are we to say oh you are lair? That could never happen? Just because we haven't seen it?
    80 years ago they said that about the moon.
    10 Years before aeroplanes, they said the same.
    Nice to see nothign has changed.


    And i thought it was a french retreat.

    IN rifle competitions in the British Regiments, the Baker rifle had shown itself to be deadly at 500 yards on the range. Now that we have absolute proof. That was over powdered too.

    Yes, i find it amazing, that 800 yard shot. I can quiet easliy believe 500yards, as I have seen old rifles do so.


    Anyway, some information about the 60th and 95th that became the Rifle Brigade.

    The Rifle brigade were unique in their time. They abolished the whip, they where taught to think for themselves, in open order, and drirectly target NCO's and CO's of the enemy.
    They also operated in pairs. ANd where taught to use natural cover of the landscape.
    They where also the first in the world, to hold regular sports, and rifle comptitions.
    They also were rewarded for good service, and winning in the rifle comps, and sporting comps.
    They also did not carry their colours in battle like everyone else.
    And the officers of the Regiment, ate with their men. Unheard of anywhere in the world.

    Most of what the RGJ did was unheard of in their time period, in fact it was almost another 60 years before any country did the same, and some cases over 100 years.


    RGJ rifle Competitions.
    The opening shots where at 200yards, later moved to 300yards as a start. and then they progressed from there.

    See: Royal Green Jacket, Rifle Brigade Mesuem Winchester, Hampshire.


    It was a tradition in the British army in 1700's, to practise and have compeitions with rifles, shooting a brid called a snipe. A quite small bird.
    Hence, to snipe, and sniper.
    The british where also the only ones who taught martial arts to their troops.
    In the time period, British martails arts included, Pulism (boxing), Fencing with sabre and rapier, and still largely with a boardsword. unarmed combat, and Pole staff. where also favouriates.
    In fact, up until the late 1800's and early 1900's, every Briton, was armed.


    Side note: When i was growing up, on a high country farm, I used to have a .22 rifle. Bolt action.
    And I used to hunt Deer, and Boars with it.
    Most people that heard about it, didn't believe it. But when they saw the I could drop any one of them at over 200 meters, with a .22 rifle. Some of their jaws landed around their boot laces.

    So i have been doubted about the ability of myself and my old .22, but that too was real. and I proved it to my doubters.
    Liek anything, if you play with and use something for long eoungh, you soon learn what it can and cannot do, and how far to push it.

    Wiki is a disgrace, and I shall rather forget the name than belittle myself.


    NOTE:

    The British 1910 Enfield of ww1, was able to kill at 1600 meters. using their volley sights.

    Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong, Killed a Taliban Insurgent at 2430 meters. The longest recorded kill by a sniper. The Gun was a tac-50 Cal.
    Unheard of 15 years ago.

    Sincerely

    fenir
    Time is but a basis for measuring Susscess. Fenir Nov 2002.

    Mr R.T.Smith > So you going to Charge in the Brisbane Office with your knights?.....then what?
    fenir > hmmmm .....Kill them, kill them all.......let sega sort them out.

    Well thats it, 6 years at university, 2 degrees and 1 post grad diploma later OMG! I am so Anal!
    I should have been a proctologist! Not an Accountant......hmmmmm maybe some cross over there?

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    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    It was witnessed by people, they just never wrote about it! The sources describing the incident are secondary sources. But hey visit the museum again and check out the names of the sources.

    Just the danger zone for such a range is ridiculously short: depending on muzzle velocity it would be around 10-14 yards. In other words if a shooter misjudges range by 1% he would miss.

    There is nothing insulting about the shot being at only 80 yards(not that it is conclusive that it was at that range, only that is a lot more likely than 800) and by reading what the sources write of the incident you should realize that.

    Here are few links describing the sources and the last link goes into details like maps etc.

    http://www.napoleon-series.org/resea..._plunkett.html

    http://www.95thrifles.com/95th/histo...shot/index.htm


    CBR

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    Member Member fenir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    CBR,

    you knw i don't read the disinformatin highway for my information.





    Just the danger zone for such a range is ridiculously short: depending on muzzle velocity it would be around 10-14 yards. In other words if a shooter misjudges range by 1% he would miss.
    not sure what you mean by this.

    As for miss judgement by 1%, that is for any weapon. a 1% margin in a space flight, could lose the entire rocket.
    This is when it comes down to skill and knowledge.


    There is nothing insulting about the shot being at only 80 yards(not that it is conclusive that it was at that range, only that is a lot more likely than 800) and by reading what the sources write of the incident you should realize that
    The problem with that is, the rifle was made for a 200 to 250 yard kill. That is the offical Kill range.
    So 80 yards, as a call to 800 would be an insult.
    I do find it hard to believe myself. But i have seen strnger things.\


    OK i had a look at the last one of your links, here is a mistake, in 1808 flogging was banned in the 95th. Yet says plunkett was flogged.
    THe same site says that the baker rifle is consider battlefield accurate up to 300 yards, offically.


    Sincerely

    fenir
    Last edited by fenir; 10-23-2008 at 17:39.
    Time is but a basis for measuring Susscess. Fenir Nov 2002.

    Mr R.T.Smith > So you going to Charge in the Brisbane Office with your knights?.....then what?
    fenir > hmmmm .....Kill them, kill them all.......let sega sort them out.

    Well thats it, 6 years at university, 2 degrees and 1 post grad diploma later OMG! I am so Anal!
    I should have been a proctologist! Not an Accountant......hmmmmm maybe some cross over there?

  13. #13
    Member Member fenir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    From the Makers own book.

    Quote:

    An excerpt from Ezekiel Baker’s book reads : “I would recommend a young rifleman when he can fire well at two hundred yards to practice in windy and all sorts of rough weather. I have found it much more difficult to fire during the time of snow falling than in rain, the air being considerably thicker and the flakes of snow which continually fly about distracting the attention and dazzle the eye. A rifleman indeed should practice in all weathers, by which means he will ascertain what allowance should be made from the object to be fired at either to right or left as the wind materially influences the ball at long ranges. I have found two hundred yards the greatest range I could fire at to any certainty. At three hundred yards I have fired very well at times when the wind has been calm. At four or five hundred yards I have frequently fired and I have had sometimes struck the object; though, having aimed at nearly as possible at the same point I have found it to vary very much from the object intended; whereas at two hundred yards I could have made sure of my point or thereabouts. From my practice, I am convinced the wind has great power on the ball after it has passed to a certain distance. I have found it very uncertain to fire over water and if I took the same elevation of the object as on land I have found the ball drop short. Firing over swamps and bogs has a similar effect to firing over water. If a rifleman is in possession of a good rifle he should never use any other until he is a complete master of the piece; after which like the Master of any other art or science he may use any one for the instruction of others. I consider a person to have a perfect command of the rifle when he can take an accurate view of the bull’s eye in the target and strike it, no matter at what distance and take a distinct aim from any situation whether from a right or a left point, whether by elevation or depression and insure his striking it.” Baker also recommends the regular pacing out of distances to enable a rifleman to judge the range over which he is shooting to within 25 yards.

    UNquote:


    500 to 600 yards??? :))
    ANd to think, he wasn't even a trained, experianced infantryman. he was a sunday shooter.


    NOTE An instance during the Crimean war where Russian infantry in column formation were fired upon by The Rifle Brigade at 600 yards led to the Russian officers believing that the casualties inflicted on their troops over the time of fifteen minutes were caused by an unseen artillery piece firing canister or grapeshot at close-range. The death in 1864 of Union General Sedgewick during the American Civil War raised a similar enquiry: Sedgewick saw his troops under fire from the enemy and exclaimed “Don’t worry, boys! They couldn’t hit an Elephant at this range!” but fell dead from a bullet seconds later. From a later examination, it appears that Sedgewick was marked down at long-range by a Confederate sharpshooter equipped with an accurate English rifle which may have been fitted with an early telescopic sight.

    The first ‘official’ recorded mention of Tom Plunket - outside company or regimental day-books - in a publication was in The United Services Journal and Naval and Military Magazine in 1839. Tom Plunket had many other adventures, many of which are recalled by Edward Costello in his book Adventures of a Soldier, one of many ‘rifles memoirs’ which followed after the war but was not published until 1852. It is stated in the book that Plunket did shoot Colbert by lying on his back to take aim and it is hinted later in the book by Costello that ‘shooting French officers’ in a similar fashion may have become Plunket’s ‘speciality’ and occurred yet again on more than one occasion during the battle of Corunna on January 16th 1809. Edward Costello didn’t take part in ‘The Retreat to Corunna’ but served from May 1809 in the 1/95th Rifles with Plunket during the Peninsula War, during which they briefly served in the same company and appear to have been good friends so had the opportunity to get an account of the exploit from Plunket himself.


    SIncerely

    fenir
    Last edited by fenir; 10-23-2008 at 17:52.
    Time is but a basis for measuring Susscess. Fenir Nov 2002.

    Mr R.T.Smith > So you going to Charge in the Brisbane Office with your knights?.....then what?
    fenir > hmmmm .....Kill them, kill them all.......let sega sort them out.

    Well thats it, 6 years at university, 2 degrees and 1 post grad diploma later OMG! I am so Anal!
    I should have been a proctologist! Not an Accountant......hmmmmm maybe some cross over there?

  14. #14
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Danger zone or perhaps more accurately "danger space" is the distance where a bullet can hit a target (in this case from the top of the head to the ground which is around 6 feet)

    A modern day 5.56x45mm rifle has such a flat trajectory that if zeroed in at 300 meters its danger space basically goes from the muzzle and out to around 500 meters distance.

    If zeroed in at 800 yards the danger space is split up and go from the muzzle and out to around 100-120 yards. After that point the bullet will be too high to hit a man until it has reached a range of around 700'ish and hitting the ground at 900+ yards, so the second danger space is nearly 200 yards long.

    A mid 19th century Minié rifle like the Enfield would have second danger space of only about 40 yards for shots at 800 yards and 60 yards at 600 yards. It was one of the reasons as to why the rifle did not come to revolutionize warfare as some thought back then. Soldiers simply could not estimate ranges that accurately without taking several shots and watch the impacts.

    This is of course from head to toe danger space. If one wants to focus only on possible torso or head hits it becomes a lot narrower.

    For the 18th/early 19th century rifles used round balls, which have a horrible ballistic coefficient and therefore slows down even faster than the later Minié balls or modern day ammo. And that is why it has such a narrow danger space at longer ranges.

    When Ezekiel Baker advised soldiers to learn to judge ranges within 25 yards it makes perfect sense as that would enable a soldier to place torso hits within 150-250 yards. And yes I'm sure a good shot could kill at 300 yards but it is still 500 yards less of the modern day myth of 800 yards.

    ------------------------------

    Now I don't know why you think he was a "Sunday shooter" He was a gun maker who spent years perfecting the rifle, did numerous tests and wrote good advice to soldiers because he knew his rifle.

    He writes he sometimes struck the target at 4-500 yards so where does your 5-600 yards comment come from? And this is still at a shooting range where he knew the range of the target.

    I fail to see what the second paragraph is supposed to show? The British army had Enfield Minié rifles at that point. Sedgwick was IIRC shot by a Whitworth sniper rifle. It has nothing to do with the Baker Rifle. Also note that the Russians are in column formation which is a much deeper target than a line and thereby reducing the problem with narrow danger space.

    Edward Costello is indeed one of the sources describing the shot but he was not there nor does Costello say anything about what range it was. He is actually the one telling us of the courage of Plunket as he says Plunket advanced 100 yards before taking the shot.

    The flogging of Plunket is described in Mark Urban's "Wellington's Rifles"


    CBR

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    Member Member Oleander Ardens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    I think both of you are having a interesting debate, although I'm not always sure that it is on topic. I just wanted to add that certainly the British rifleman were a rather late occurance and heavily influenced by continental (German) rifleman or Jaeger.

    Anyway guilds of marksman were are regular occurance, especially in the cities of northern Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. It all started with the crossbow and through various handguns ended with the ever finer rifles. In Tyrol as elsewhere even before 1700 many guilds had a fixed minimum of shots for each members and great prices, often gifted by the duke himself, attracted thousends of shooters making for a fierce competition. Distances and the size of the various targets are recorded as well as the ruleset.

    Aided by the terrain the Tyrolian Marksman would win from 1700 onwards practically every skirmish and battle on their territory against the French and their allies until Napoleon got defeated at Leipzig. Of course the results were most impressing in skirmishes and ambushes were substantial numbers of enemies were defeated with hardly any loss on the Tyrolian side.
    "Silent enim leges inter arma - For among arms, the laws fall mute"
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    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Yes it is indeed not much to do with the topic except to show some of the technicalites of ballistics

    The Baker rifle can be classed as a German style short rifle with a slow twist. Not as accurate as a rifle could be but it improved the rate of fire. One could say it was the highpoint of military rifles before everything changed in the mid 19th century.

    But it is a late weapon of the ETW era of course.

    How the regular rifle is done in ETW is a good question as it was a speciality weapon that simply might not be worth much in Total War context: It does not have the overall firepower as musket units even with its better range, so why waste one of your precious unit slots for such a unit.

    In MP maybe as the skirmish phase can be much more important compared to the standard SP battle.


    CBR

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    Member Member fenir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    CBR,


    Now I don't know why you think he was a "Sunday shooter" He was a gun maker who spent years perfecting the rifle, did numerous tests and wrote good advice to soldiers because he knew his rifle.
    Anyone that has not had to use a rifle in combat is a sunday shooter. A sunday shooter is a person that can shoot all they like. But that experiance does not translate to direct ability in combat.
    A combat solider marries their weapon. You learn to estimate range, understand the effect upon the bullet in wind, and different tempetures.
    You learn more than you know about anything in the world. As often joked. "more than your own wife".
    Soliders in that period, relied upon them, as their life did. And their livelyhood. So it would be true to say they where in many cases experts. It is and was a normal course of action to teach estimation range. Espeically Army, Artillery, and rifles. The royal Navy had esitmation for centuries and got it right. Why do you try and doubt the Army?

    I mean really, it is so simple to judge the distance to shoot a rabbit. ~410 Meters is roughly my greatest range in hitting a rabbit, 1 shot, 1 kill. That is range esitmation, everytime. ANd on open iron sights. Mind you was magnum Ammuntion for my .22
    CBR, you seem to not understand what is involved in firing a rifle, espeically in the elements. If you have used a weapon in the elements, have you never esitmate a range and got it right?

    Msser Baker never had military traning, espeically not the high standard attested to the rifles.

    The Rifles also had 4 levels of Marksmanship.

    He writes he sometimes struck the target at 4-500 yards so where does your 5-600 yards comment come from? And this is still at a shooting range where he knew the range of the target.
    From his own admission, and the admission of the rilfe is shooting those distances, as they are descirbed.

    NOTE: was supposed to be 400 to 500 yards, typo on my part.

    Most people that have used a rifle over a number of years, or trained in it's use, can esitmate distance very well. And the rifles where taught to do so. Same as we are today. I was taught orginally by my father to estimate range. Myself and my brothers would have our own little rifle competitions. And later members of the rifle club.



    When Ezekiel Baker advised soldiers to learn to judge ranges within 25 yards it makes perfect sense as that would enable a soldier to place torso hits within 150-250 yards. And yes I'm sure a good shot could kill at 300 yards but it is still 500 yards less of the modern day myth of 800 yards.
    ANd only 200 Yards short of Many confirmed 600 yard shoot kills. In many differrent places, by many different people.

    And the reason for E. Baker's comment, was to help in the understanding of learning the range.
    Practise makes perfect.

    Whatever our thoughts on the 800 yards, we have conirmed evidence of 600 yards, by many used and many witnessed.
    Including the Confirmation of the opposing side.
    SO is the last 200 yards truely impossible? As you are saying? I personally believe nothing is impossible, something sare jsut a little harder than others.

    Their is certainly no evidence to refute it. ANd their is evidence to say that others are 200 yards short of this target.


    I fail to see what the second paragraph is supposed to show? The British army had Enfield Minié rifles at that point. Sedgwick was IIRC shot by a Whitworth sniper rifle. It has nothing to do with the Baker Rifle. Also note that the Russians are in column formation which is a much deeper target than a line and thereby reducing the problem with narrow danger space.
    And cavalry line up in a sense is acolumn as well. Otherwise you have no depth. The russians lined in column. And where they in close form, or loose? A column does not mean they are packed together like sardines.
    As you yourself said, 1%.

    The British army had Enfield Minié rifles at that point
    IN the crimean war? Yes, they did, in very limited numbers. The baker still out numbered them.

    Edward Costello is indeed one of the sources describing the shot but he was not there nor does Costello say anything about what range it was. He is actually the one telling us of the courage of Plunket as he says Plunket advanced 100 yards before taking the shot.
    This is true, but he served with Plunett, and was friends with him, and served with the men of the coy, that had also seen the action. Surely, A long yarn would have been counted?
    Hardly lacks crediability.
    And from further reading, it seems plunkett was certainly held in the highest regard by the officers of the rifles, as attested by their providing money from their own pocket to get him a buiral. And that his former commanding officer, took his death quite hard, when informed by plunketts wife.



    Olender, but we are having a good debate.
    Sincerely

    fenir
    Last edited by fenir; 10-23-2008 at 23:37.
    Time is but a basis for measuring Susscess. Fenir Nov 2002.

    Mr R.T.Smith > So you going to Charge in the Brisbane Office with your knights?.....then what?
    fenir > hmmmm .....Kill them, kill them all.......let sega sort them out.

    Well thats it, 6 years at university, 2 degrees and 1 post grad diploma later OMG! I am so Anal!
    I should have been a proctologist! Not an Accountant......hmmmmm maybe some cross over there?

  18. #18
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Quote Originally Posted by fenir View Post
    Anyone that has not had to use a rifle in combat is a sunday shooter. A sunday shooter is a person that can shoot all they like. But that experiance does not translate to direct ability in combat.
    A combat solider marries their weapon. You learn to estimate range, understand the effect upon the bullet in wind, and different tempetures.
    Hm no. Combat experience might mean you get to shoot at real moving targets in a way that no training can prepare you for but most importantly it means, as they said in the ACW, you get to see the elephant. It is hard training that makes you a good shot. There are examples in the ACW with units that had 2-3 years of campaigning experience but were still not good shots until they had actual training. The 95th were good shots because they had lots of training and some soldiers took any chance they got to go out and shoot at stuff in between marches and campaigning.

    It is and was a normal course of action to teach estimation range. Espeically Army, Artillery, and rifles. The royal Navy had esitmation for centuries and got it right. Why do you try and doubt the Army?
    I know they trained it. The Artillerist's Manual of 1839-59 had the following:
    1700 yards for recognition of masses of troops
    1300 yards for difference between infantry and cavalry
    1000 yards for individual
    700 yards for observing head as a round ball and white crossbelt/trousers
    500 yards for face as light coloured spot and arm/leg movement
    200-250 yards officers are distinguished from the men

    Now eyesight and different lighting conditions can easily cause some variance from one observer to another.

    Having a set of binoculars and identifying the ship class and thereby the height of a ship goes a far way to get a good range estimate.

    What I do know is that in the mid 19th century people did recognise the need for scientific range estimation and did teach soldiers, and nonetheless long range shots in the stress of combat were not that good.

    Whatever our thoughts on the 800 yards, we have conirmed evidence of 600 yards, by many used and many witnessed.Including the Confirmation of the opposing side.
    What confirmed evidence? No contemporary source gives an exact range. The French sources gives an indication of the power of the shot and to the best of my knowledge a caliber .615 ball at around 300 fps just cannot smash through a skull. And then the other source saying Colbert were nearly among the skirmishers...

    And cavalry line up in a sense is acolumn as well. Otherwise you have no depth. The russians lined in column. And where they in close form, or loose? A column does not mean they are packed together like sardines.
    Either company or half-company frontage and in full or half interval depth which could easily put the formation depth to be around 90 meters. I think there were still some Brunswick rifles in use (newer Baker'ish rifle) I don't know when that action took place so don't know if they all used Enfields.

    This is true, but he served with Plunett, and was friends with him, and served with the men of the coy, that had also seen the action. Surely, A long yarn would have been counted?
    Hardly lacks crediability.
    There is very little wrong with his credibility. But the fact is that he is a secondary source and wrote his memoirs a few decades later and that he did not mention any exact range nor gave any indication that it was a spectacular range.

    But I'm sure this off topic discussion causes grey hairs for the two moderators here so unless something concrete shows up I'll refrain from spamming this thread anymore


    CBR

  19. #19
    Member Member fenir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    CBR,

    Please, don't stop. This thread is about rifles and muskets, we have confirmed the musket is crap, and the rifle is great.
    And we are discussing the pros and cons, including our thoughts upon the subject. In my opinion, this is what the thread is for.
    To long have we suffed cbr. To long under the heel of oppression. We shall strike out. We shall make our vioces heard.
    Many a time, a good thread has been quashed by the heavy hand that is mod justice. Many a time, a good thread has been destroyed by the wanton idiotic postings of fools.

    I say, lets us be free from these tyrants of the masses. Lets join and break down these chains that hold us.

    Or apart from that, can we just be allowed to have our debate.

    PS: The battle of Traflagar was written many years after the battle, and by alot of second hand witnesses.

    Sicnerely


    Oh yeah baby, i'm bad
    fenir
    Last edited by fenir; 10-25-2008 at 09:23.
    Time is but a basis for measuring Susscess. Fenir Nov 2002.

    Mr R.T.Smith > So you going to Charge in the Brisbane Office with your knights?.....then what?
    fenir > hmmmm .....Kill them, kill them all.......let sega sort them out.

    Well thats it, 6 years at university, 2 degrees and 1 post grad diploma later OMG! I am so Anal!
    I should have been a proctologist! Not an Accountant......hmmmmm maybe some cross over there?

  20. #20
    Member Member Oleander Ardens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    The Baker rifle can be classed as a German style short rifle with a slow twist. Not as accurate as a rifle could be but it improved the rate of fire. One could say it was the highpoint of military rifles before everything changed in the mid 19th century.

    But it is a late weapon of the ETW era of course.

    How the regular rifle is done in ETW is a good question as it was a speciality weapon that simply might not be worth much in Total War context: It does not have the overall firepower as musket units even with its better range, so why waste one of your precious unit slots for such a unit.

    In MP maybe as the skirmish phase can be much more important compared to the standard SP battle.
    Yes, the Baker was a very good compromise of accuracy and rate of fire. As an example serious Tyrolian sharpshooter brought during their uprises for ambushes and battles up to five rifles with them, usually carried by their suns or young relatives which loaded the rifle for them. This rifles were used for target shooting or/and hunting.

    BTW: I wonder if CA could implement the famous Girandoni Rifle. A detailed article is here.

    BTW (from the link):

    The General Artillery Director, the Duke of Colloredo himself, reported on July 21, 1789: “Due to their construction, these guns were much more difficult to use effectively than normal, as one had to handle them much more cautiously and carefully. In addition, the soldiers using them had to be supervised extremely carefully, as they were unsure about the operation. The guns become inoperable after a very short time – so much so that after awhile no more than one third of them were still is in a usable state. We needed the whole winter to repair and replace them.” After this it was deemed wise to take back the airguns and issue them only to select, specially trained Tyrolean sharpshooter units. The last order given by the Emperor prior to his death was “to select the most promising and skilful soldiers to use these guns.” Because of extensive service work, and most importantly, the lack of Emperor Joseph’s interest and involvement, the airguns still had not been issued on December 16, 1792. However, the Tyrol Sharp Shooter Corps indicated “that these weapons were really accurate and effective” in the Turkish War and in 1790 against Prussia. (Contrary to many accounts, they never saw service against any of Napoleon's troops.) The air rifles were later supplied only with the wheeled and short hand pumps behind the lines – the idea being that captured airguns would not be very useful without the pumps!

    Imagine what a heck gamplay-wise a sharpshooter corps with this rifles would be!
    Last edited by Oleander Ardens; 10-25-2008 at 16:32.
    "Silent enim leges inter arma - For among arms, the laws fall mute"
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  21. #21
    Clan Clan InsaneApache's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    I don't know about Napoleonic rifles but when I was a cadet we trained on the Lee Enfield MK IV 3.03. Now this was probably the most powerful rifle that the British army used. IIRC it was in service in the Great War.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Enfield_No._4

    Now this little baby could kill a man at 1 mile, if you were a good enough shot, and knock a man down at a mile and a half.

    800 yds doesn't seem that far fetched to me, even given the fact that it was one of the earliest rifles in use.

    Arn't all rifles much more powerful than muskets?
    There are times I wish they’d just ban everything- baccy and beer, burgers and bangers, and all the rest- once and for all. Instead, they creep forward one apparently tiny step at a time. It’s like being executed with a bacon slicer.

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  22. #22
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Quote Originally Posted by InsaneApache View Post
    Arn't all rifles much more powerful than muskets?
    No they were in most cases weaker than muskets as they were of lower caliber. The rifling also meant more friction for the ball.


    CBR

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    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    I think he got confused between the earlier Napoleonic-era rifles, and the later ones(used in WW1, etc.).

  24. #24
    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    It seems odd that the most truly effective military rifle of the time was so short lived.

    The Ferguson breech loading rifle was superior in every regard to other small arms of the day but because of higher causalities in the unit, (due mostly to seeing more action than other units), the unit was disband and the rifles taken out of service.

    No doubt a lucky thing for Washington and his troops…

    Can you imagine 6 + rounds per minute and loading and firing prone where everyone else has to stand to load and are standing in massed ranks.


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  25. #25
    The Dam Dog Senior Member Sheogorath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    It seems odd that the most truly effective military rifle of the time was so short lived.

    The Ferguson breech loading rifle was superior in every regard to other small arms of the day but because of higher causalities in the unit, (due mostly to seeing more action than other units), the unit was disband and the rifles taken out of service.

    No doubt a lucky thing for Washington and his troops…

    Can you imagine 6 + rounds per minute and loading and firing prone where everyone else has to stand to load and are standing in massed ranks.
    The only downside being a tendency to explode :P
    Tallyho lads, rape the houses and burn the women! Leave not a single potted plant alive! Full speed ahead and damn the cheesemongers!

  26. #26
    Member Member fenir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    No they were in most cases weaker than muskets as they were of lower caliber. The rifling also meant more friction for the ball.

    CBR, oh, shame on you.


    A lower calibre, hmmm I could name over 20 examples of this is wrong. This is why, as they went along, they could make the rounds smaller, but more effective, with greater killing ability. Hence today. the killing power of most arms is only 2/3 of the power 40 years ago.
    The Baker rifle has a higher velocity than the Brown bess. ANd hence is a heavier weapon to handle the stress.


    Arn't all rifles much more powerful than muskets?

    by InsaneApache
    No not all, but the baker rifle was indeed. A musket has good power initially, but wanes fast. Hence the effective range is under 60 yards. Maxium 80 Yards.
    Where as the Baker Rifle could, and did kill at 600 Yards. It has to do, with the powder, the projectile, and the rifling. Couple this with a channeled muzzel velocity, and you get to understand the change.

    However, after ~1860, yes, all rifles where more powerful than Muskets by a long margin.

    This is why, amoung others, the reason for the change. Rifling makes the bullet more accurate. The weapon is more powerful. ANd breach loading, made it all easy.

    To a large extent, the rifle was the one everyone wanted, but due to the longer reload time, and more difficult nature of manufacturing them, the musket was cheaper, by about 1/3 the price, than the rifle.
    As the rifles in earlier times, eg: 1500's onwards, where used for hunting. because of their stopping power, and accuracy. And greater range. And hence the change.


    Sincerely

    fenir
    Time is but a basis for measuring Susscess. Fenir Nov 2002.

    Mr R.T.Smith > So you going to Charge in the Brisbane Office with your knights?.....then what?
    fenir > hmmmm .....Kill them, kill them all.......let sega sort them out.

    Well thats it, 6 years at university, 2 degrees and 1 post grad diploma later OMG! I am so Anal!
    I should have been a proctologist! Not an Accountant......hmmmmm maybe some cross over there?

  27. #27
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Early rifleman generally came with their own civilian hunting rifle so I'm sure there were many different calibers in use. In America civilian calibers were from .40 .to .60.

    Some calibers used in military rifles:

    .62 and .65 for German mercs (Hesse-Kassel and Ansbach Jäger)
    .64 for Danish M1769 and M1803
    .58 for Prussian 1810 model
    .59 for the Austrian "Deutsches Feld-Jäger Corps" in the Seven Years War
    .59 and .61 for Norwegian M1755 and M1807 (no data on the M1711 but looks like ordinary short rifle)
    .54 for Harper's Ferry Model 1803

    I think one can see the general tendency in calibers used by 18th century armies. Some have short barrels and others are of medium length. The shorter it is, the easier to load but less velocity.

    Smoothbore muskets used anywhere between .69 to .75 and even some .80+ in the early 18th century.

    A spinning ball is more accurate but it does not help with its ballistic coefficient so it does not matter whether it is a rifle or smoothbore: a round ball lose velocity faster than modern spitzer type bullets. And rifles of this era used round balls.

    According to the website a Baker rifle was supposed to use a 2 1/2 drams powder charge(one dram is about 27.5 grains) A Brown Bess apparently had 6-8 drams in its paper cartridge. Of course with more windage more energy would be lost with the Brown Bess. OTOH I found another website saying the Baker had a 4 dram charge and that might make more sense with the lighter bullet and shorter barrel.


    CBR

  28. #28
    The Dam Dog Senior Member Sheogorath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Powder loads varied based on distance, windage, and what kind of mood you were in at the time. Hence, the power of the rifle varied as well.

    Naturally, you could magnum load your rifle and probably kill somebody at 600 yards. Of course, you risk your rifle exploding in your face, or winding up with a metallic banana.

    With my own black powder rifle (which is, admittedly, a modern example) I typically load ~60 grains for a shot at 100 yards. This is, of course, for a target, on a range. I believe the recommended hunting load is ~100-120 grains. The maximum safe load (according to the manual) is 150 grains (which probably means its up around 200 grains).

    Now, I'm willing to bet my Saturday Night Special has roughly the same performance as an 18th century rifle. I'm a decent shot, and can generally hit a target up to about 200 yards. Past that (using ball ammunition) its impossible to get a consistent grouping, even with a scope. Ball ammunition simply does not fly straight for that long a distance, even with a rifle. And this, mind you, is on a range, with minimal wind, and with me not getting shot at.

    Regardless of the sheer awesomeness of British weapons (which it is historically proven were all forged by Zeus, could shoot lightning, and whose mere presence caused French children to cry), I'm fairly sure that they used the same kind of bullet as everybody else (the exception to that fact being that the French had their bullets forged by the Goddess of Liberty. And the Russians had theirs forged by Dionysus, hence, they were all crooked.) and there is an upper limit to the accuracy of a round ball, regardless of how long and amazingly powerful your weapon is.

    Phallic meataphores aside (Freudian slip!), I would say that a marksman, who practiced every day of his life, could, if he were particularly lucky one day, hit a man at 300 yards, at most.
    Accuracy would depend on a number of variables, powder load, wind, Brazilian butterflies from three weeks ago, that sort of thing. Luck being a not-insignificant factor.

    Now, on the subject of rifle ammunition being smaller, it should be pointed out that the Baker rifle had a calibur of .62, I believe, while the Brown Bess musket had a calibur of .75. Simple enough, yes?

    I believe the reasoning behind this would be that it would require exponentially more powder to move a .75 calibur ball down a rifled barrel than a smooth bore barrel. A lighter ball would mean less powder was required to give it the same acceleration. I would imagine that the muzzle velocity of both weapons was, roughly equal with the same load of powder.

    But enough talk about balls. How are you, gentlemen?
    Tallyho lads, rape the houses and burn the women! Leave not a single potted plant alive! Full speed ahead and damn the cheesemongers!

  29. #29
    Member Member Oleander Ardens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Thanks for the information, CBR and Sheogorath:


    The momentum of a 18th projectile leaving the barrel is largely determined by:

    - The type, quality and quantitiy of the powder
    - The weigth, form and size of the projectile
    - The lenght of the barrel
    - The friction of the barrel
    - and how snuggly the fit

    In the air it comes down to the properties of the projectile:

    - How aerodynamic the form is
    - The density of the material
    - The size of it

    If we put all together, than we will see something surprising. Given the great difference in weigth between the a .72 musket and a .58 rifle it makes good sense that seemingly the Brown Bess used at least 1/3 more powder per shoth than the Baker rifle. While rifle might still have a (slightly) higher muzzle velocity its ball looses momentum far faster the larger and heavier ball fired by a musket. Why that? Simple. Momentum is calculated by V*m, and is by far the best way to calculate the penetration power of a projectile. Both projectiles have due to their form a large drag, with both loosing velocity quite rapidly. The projectile of the rifle is faster and thus deaccelerates also more rapidly in the beginning, while the large ball of a musket has a larger drag coefficient. See here. Given the factor mass remains the same a Brown Bess hits far harder than a Baker rifle at around 500 yards.

    With this background in very basic physics you can easily understand why the rifles in this timeframe used smaller "rounds" and less powder. The momentum achieved by this combination when fire out of a relative short barrel is certainly enough to kill or dangerously wound a deer or a man at ranges at least around 300m. Given that this range was a seriously testing the natural accuracy of the material at disposal of a rifleman there was no need to carry heavier rounds and more powder - more rounds and possible shots were far more important.

    Why the muskets still used so large a calibre is beyond me, even if common sense seems to have slowly favored the introduction of smaller caliber muskets. Perhaps some hidden phallic competition between the rulers? My caliber is larger than your caliber?
    "Silent enim leges inter arma - For among arms, the laws fall mute"
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  30. #30
    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle vs. Muskets

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheogorath View Post
    The only downside being a tendency to explode :P

    Sorry but I have to call BS on this one….

    It is much more likely that it was a political decision on Howe’s part and the disturbance in tactics of the day…

    The average infantryman was seen as little more than an animal who did as he was told and one could not allow him to decide when and what to fire at…


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
    Mark Twain

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